Friends, as they say, are meant to last forever. But what if, they just last for one week?
One Week Friends revolves around a shy boy named Yuuki, and a stolid girl named Kaori — and mostly, their relationship over the course of the series.
But surely, One Week Friends or “Ishuukan Friends” has more to it; presented in the form of other hazy characters — their past (without explicit disclosure), how it keeps affecting them, their [constant] internal conflicts and struggles, convoluted feelings, etc.
But for the majority, it focuses on the lead boy and girl.
One calm day, Yuuki – hesitatingly – approaches Kaori, and asks her if they could be friends. Perplexed at first, she eventually accepts the given proposal. And from here on, “certain things” ensue, as they grow a tad bit closer.
Upon their further interactions, Kaori reveals that she loses all her memories of her friends every Monday. And the reason of her condition is one of the key elements that pushes the story forward later on.
This confession of hers, instead of deterring everything, aptly solidifies their relationship as friends even more. And in the meantime, does something much better; and soon enough, they develop a quaint and intimate bond, as they begin their spirited tussle with time.
As the story flows ahead, all the characters – in some way; reluctantly – do things that can be considered as exact the opposite of their intrinsic nature, for a better cause. A few of their pent-up emotions reflect upon the choices they make, and subtle leap of faiths that they take throughout the series.
Just as any other anime lying in the teen romance genre, this one’s set up in a high school. But hey, in here, the setting actually helps to do some good to the plot. So, it does what it can — not interfering in between; and somehow accentuating the story, aesthetically.
The noteworthy thing about this series is that it neither relies nor dwindles upon a specific tone, pattern, or structure. Instead, it goes a different route without trying to emulate something that has already been done — but, in my opinion, it lacks much effort and ingenuity in that spectrum.
And there’s one particular thing that this series has never denied in addressing out loud — mostly in subtext — is that no matter how cliché and corny it may sound, small things do make a difference.
Surprisingly enough, whichever way the narrative drives the viewer, it never lets them forget the very thing that it greets them with. THE INKLING OF HOPE. It manages to make the feeling of yearning out with hope – though seemingly elusive at first – protrude merrily.
Tarou Iwasaki’s direction has sincere prudence to it. Shotaro Suga’s writing has a nimble warmth encapsulating the entire theme gracefully. Nobuko Toda’s music has a stoic but soothing aura emanating from it. And the animation of Brain’s Base holds a certain ethereal fluidity.
Believe it or not, this anime – to some extent – has what it takes to come in direct contact with the viewer’s emotions.
Watching this anime somewhat feels like getting caressed gently by a tender figure we all know, but have never met.